Writing a good research paper involves specific steps like choosing an appropriate research paper topic, skillfully constructing the thesis statement (a proposal which conveys the message that you are going to explain certain facts or observations). Writing a thesis involves finding and collecting information to strengthen your arguments, supporting and defending the hypothesis, making a tentative outline, organizing your notes, writing a rough draft, revising your outline and draft; and then typing and submitting the final report. For writing an outline for a research paper, you need to know the correct format, that can help you to explain your ideas and observations in an impressive manner. You should organize the information logically, before you start writing.
Writing a research paper is similar to writing an essay but it needs to be done in more organized way as a research paper is more argumentative or persuasive than an essay. You also need to know how your research paper will be evaluated. As you go on collecting information, it might become difficult for you to arrange your notes afterwards. Therefore, following an appropriate format while writing an outline of your research paper is the most important step.
Research Paper Outline Format for High School Students
Outline of a research paper mainly consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. One should develop each part of the outline, keeping in mind the main research statement.
In the introductory part, you are expected to state the purpose of your research paper 'clearly'. Ask yourself the question 'what is the chief reason you are writing the paper' and construct the statement of your thesis in brief. You need to explain how you are going to approach your topic. You should explain what type of research or report it is, for instance, whether it is based on actual facts, or is it a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem. However, the thesis statement should be concise and clear. You should briefly explain your topic covered in your paper in such a way that it should create interest and arouse curiosity in the minds of readers. Following a correct outline format for science fair research paper is especially of great importance. It should contain a very catchy statement in introduction, perfect scientific explanation in the body and a correct conclusion.
In this section, you are supposed to present your arguments to support your thesis statement. You should at least find 3-4 supporting arguments for each position you take. It would influence the reader more if you begin with a strong argument, then put forth a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point. In this section, you are supposed to analyze the collected data. If you have collected information through a questionnaire, you have to analyze it properly and present it in an interesting manner. Remember, arguments should follow a logical sequence. To support your arguments, you should include documented proofs or examples. Avoid unnecessary phrases or repetition of words.
This may look similar to introduction but here, you should restate or reword your thesis by summarizing your arguments. Clear explanation about why you have come to this particular conclusion is needed.
Research Paper Outline Sample
If you are worried about how to write an outline of a research paper, take a look at the research paper outline template presented below. You would come to know that the format is not at all difficult to follow.
Write down the title of the thesis and brief comment leading into subject matter. For example, title - 'Can Excessive Stress Hamper Your Performance?' Then write down the thesis statement on discovering effects of stress on the performance of young students.
You may divide this part into four-five parts to explain the title clearly.
- What is meant by stress, external and internal factors responsible for stress, what causes stress, how the body reacts to stress
- Types of stress, for example, relationship stress, family conflicts, learning disability, problems with school work, crammed schedule, no time to rest and relax, no sharing, what is meant by good stress and bad stress
- Signs of stress overload, such as anxiety, panic attacks, moodiness, physical symptoms like stomach problems, headaches, allergy, asthma, etc., disturbed sleeping and eating habits, sadness or depression, etc. (You may use a questionnaire to gather the information and then analyze it.)
- How to keep stress under control, what methods you have studied or employed for taking a stand against over-scheduling, ways to relax, being realistic and optimistic, sleeping well, eating well, treating your body well, exercising, building resilience, etc.
- What were your observations regarding the problems and solutions.
Here, you can conclude and while concluding, you can again state your research purpose. Based on the facts and research carried, you are expected to prove how your research paper contains important and useful information for readers, regarding the topic.
The conclusion should summarize the reasons you had included to support your thesis. Moreover, it should add insight by giving some thoughts on the implications of what you have written or proven. There are other important things which should be kept in mind while writing a research paper. The concluding sentence of one paragraph and the introductory sentence of the next paragraph should be well linked and consistency should be maintained throughout. You should be able to communicate with your readers while explaining them the aim of your research paper. An outline format for research paper can be very beneficial to you, because it will help you stay organized.
Following a research paper outline format will be quite easy, once you understand that research is nothing but to test and present your causal hypothesis regarding the occurrence of a phenomenon or a new discovery. Research means verifying an existing theory or fabricating new methods and techniques by exploiting known natural phenomena.
I hope the article helps you to acquaint yourself with proper research paper outline. There can be innumerable research topics and research techniques, but they all have one thing in common; the final presentation of a research paper, which is the culmination of research that leaves a sense of completion for the writer as well as reader.